Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekly Photos

INDIAN OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Marines from Combined Anti-Armor Team 2, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, perform speed reloads while conducting magazine drills aboard the USS Green Bay (LPD-20), March 25. The drills help Marines to retain muscle memory of loading magazines into their rifles and automatic weapons.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)


INDIAN OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Marines from Combined Anti-Armor Team 2, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, perform speed reloads while conducting magazine drills aboard the USS Green Bay (LPD-20), March 25. The drills help Marines to retain muscle memory of loading magazines into their rifles and automatic weapons.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)


INDIAN OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Col. David W. Coffman, commanding officer of 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, speaks to Marines and sailors with Battalion Landing Team 1/1 about future plans for the Unit during a formation at the bow of the USS Green Bay (LPD-20) March 26. Battalion Landing Team 1/1 serves the 13th MEU as its Ground Combat Element, during the 2011 Western Pacific Deployment.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)


INDIAN OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Col. David W. Coffman, commanding officer of 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, speaks to Marines and sailors with Battalion Landing Team 1/1 about future plans for the Unit during a formation at the bow of the USS Green Bay (LPD-20) March 26. Battalion Landing Team 1/1 serves the 13th MEU as its Ground Combat Element, during the 2011 Western Pacific Deployment.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)






















Thursday, March 24, 2011

‘Evils Eyes’ DET keeps birds flying high

INDIAN OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – For more than 50 years, Marines and sailors with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Reinforced) have proven they can operate in the far reaches of the globe, from the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan.
Currently, HMM-163 (Rein.), sails on the world’s oceans deployed as part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit-Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, ready to respond as part of a force in readiness. Once solely based aboard the USS Boxer (LHD-4), a detachment of Marines from the squadron has recently set up shop aboard the USS Green Bay (LPD-20) during the 2011 Western Pacific Deployment. This detachment provides increased capabilities for a MEU that can operate independently on two ships thousands of miles apart.
“We really expand the capabilities of the Marines and sailors on ship,” said Capt. Thad D. Christofer, a pilot with the squadron known as “Evil Eyes.” “For instance, we can split off as an individual ship and when we try to go ashore with [Battalion Landing Team 1/1] we can provide that rapid deployment. We also have a lot longer range than other assets here on ship. In any case we need to sprint ahead or in a CASEVAC situation we can go in and at a fast. The whole idea behind the MEU-[Marine Air-Ground Task Force] concept is that you have the ACE element embedded with the ground element so there’s a whole lot more we can do whether it’s Non-Combatant Evacuations, Humanitarian Assistance Operations, fast rope insertion or other missions organic to the MEU.”
A dedicated crew of aviation maintainers oversee and make repairs to sustain four CH-46E “Sea Knights.” This enables the detachment to operate independent from Boxer.
Each day, Marines from the squadron wash down the helicopters to rid them of corrosive salt that builds up, caused by the ocean air. Other duties include checking for foreign object debris or FOD and performing daily inspections to look for discrepancies on the aircraft. When the aircraft has been certified by maintenance control, the pilots sign for the aircraft and flight operations can commence.
“For years all the little decks [LPD’s] have had flight decks but really those were designed as lily pads,” said Lt. Col. Craig Wonson, the commanding officer of BLT 1/1, 13th MEU. “This ship is really designed to have a sustained albeit small but sustained aircraft support on it. So not only can we land helicopters on it here. Now we have a ship that’s not a big deck that can sustain an aircraft for long durations. Now you become a MAGTF. It lends to the Marine Corps nature of adaptability and versatility.”
The flight deck, hangar bay and maintenance areas aboard the USS Green Bay provide the detachment with the space necessary to keep flight operations running.
“Usually when you deploy in country you have more support from the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons, and more room for supplies and assets,” said Gunnery Sgt. Angel R. Montanez, senior maintenance controller and crew chief with Evil Eyes. “Here on the Green Bay you have a smaller contingent of resources and are even more limited than on Boxer. You have fewer Marines working on each aircraft and that means they need to work independently and be savvy. When Marines perform maintenance they need to do it right the first time. It’s a different environment but its business as usual.”
In spite of these limitations, the Marines use the opportunity to hone their skills and learn from each other.
“It’s a challenge working on a ship, period, but the smaller sized staff means we have more chances for NCO’s to mentor us one on one and this can help me become a better mechanic,” said Lance Cpl. Daryl S. Martin, a CH-46E helicopter mechanic with Evil Eyes. “I’m glad to be here and I wouldn’t want to be on any other ship.”
If aircrews find themselves conducting HAO’s or troop insertions in a distant land, their success will be shared by not only the pilots and crew chiefs but by the Marines and sailors who keep flight operations running as an element of the Green Bay’s own “mini MAGTF.”
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Week in photos

PACIFIC OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Marines from Reconnaissance Platoon, Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, climb up to a platform to practice fast roping inside the hangar bay of the USS Green Bay, during recertification training March 14, 2011. In order to be certified to fast rope out of a helicopter Marines need to requalify every 90 days.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)














PACIFIC OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Cpl. Zachary J. Beasley, assistant team leader, Reconnaissance Platoon, Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fast ropes inside the hangar bay of the USS Green Bay, during recertification training March 14, 2011. In order to be certified to fast rope out of a helicopter Marines need to requalify every 90 days.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)
















PACIFIC OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – (Right) Cpl. Darrell Cicchetto, a radio operator with Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Detachment, Command Element, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fast ropes inside the hangar bay of the USS Green Bay, during recertification training March 14, 2011. In order to be certified to fast rope out of a helicopter Marines need to requalify every 90 days.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)








PACIFIC OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Aircrews with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 use a MH-60 “Sea Hawk” to pick up cargo off of the USNS Rappahannock, a Fleet replenishment oiler, during underway replenishment for the USS Boxer (LHD-4), March 17. The USS Rappahannock assisted in the resupply of all three ships in Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, which includes USS Green Bay (LPD-20) USS Comstock (LSD-45) and Boxer (LHD-4).
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)







PACIFIC OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Sailors from USS Green Bay (LPD-20) and Marines from Combat Cargo use a messenger line to pull a span wire in order to connect a fuel probe during underway replenishment between the Green Bay and USNS Rappahannock, March 17. The Marines and sailors pulled more than 1,000 feet of rope and line to refuel the ship.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)


PACIFIC OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Sailors from USS Green Bay (LPD-20) and Marines from Combat Cargo use a messenger line to pull a span wire in order to connect a fuel probe during underway replenishment between the Green Bay and USNS Rappahannock, March 17. The Marines and sailors pulled more than 1,000 feet of rope and line to refuel the ship.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)
PACIFIC OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Marines from Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit catch a glimpse of the USS Boxer (LHD-4) as they sail aboard the USS Green Bay (LPD-20), March 18. The Boxer and Green Bay serve alongside the USS Comstock (LSD-45) as part of Boxer Amphibious Ready Group.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


110317-M-QZ892-037 A refuel and replenishment ship in between the USS Boxer and USS Green Bay, March 17, 2011. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently deployed for a seven month deployment as the nations ready reserve force in the pacific and central commands with the Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group (BOX ARG). (Lance Cpl. Jesse D. Leger)(RELEASED)

13th MEU Week in photos 3/20/2011







110317-M-QZ892-010 A search and rescue helicopter transports supplies during a replenishment at sea to the USS Boxer, March 17, 2011. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently deployed for a seven month deployment as the nations ready reserve force in the pacific and central commands with the Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group (BOX ARG). (Lance Cpl. Jesse D. Leger)(RELEASED)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

USS Green Bay amplifies 13th MEU capabilities MEU as “Mini MAGTF in air, land, sea

PACIFIC OCEAN aboard USS GREEN BAY – A ship cuts through the ocean surface, its sleek and angled design resembles a stealth fighter, but its potential on the water gives the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit a capability that goes beyond the sea.

Currently on its maiden deployment, the USS Green Bay serves as a miniature Marine Air-Ground Task Force for the 13th MEU - Boxer Amphibious Ready Group during the 2011 Western Pacific Deployment.

“We can do essentially the same missions as the Boxer just based on the fact we can communicate and run things better than before,” said Lt. Col. Craig Wonson, commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th MEU. “That right there has really revolutionized the ability for the MEU to operate in a distributed manner”

The Marines and sailors with the 13th MEU have trained to conduct Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel, Humanitarian Assistance Operations, Visit Board Search and Seizure, mechanized raids and other operations. The Green Bay is designed to support these missions.

The Green Bay, a San Antonio Class Landing Platform Dock ship, boasts a flight deck, well deck, a landing force operations center and powerful communications capabilities seen aboard WASP Class ships such as the USS Boxer. However, the Green Bay has been engineered to carry these features in 684 ft. long by 105 ft. wide hull, approximately three-quarters the size of the Boxer.



Its smaller sized flight deck is capable of launching four CH-46E “Sea Knights” simultaneously. It also has a hangar bay capable of storing two additional helicopters and workspace for aircraft maintainers to support sustained flight operations.
“It’s a great place to work here on the Green Bay and it’s a great environment between the blue and green side aviation,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan M. Dehaven, an avionics technician with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Reinforced). “I feel like I have all the tools I need to help keep the birds up and running.”

Deep within the ship, Marines have the space to store Amphibious Assault Vehicles, tanks, 7-tons trucks and Humvees. In addition, it has the space to hold dozens of containers that can logistically sustain more than 1,000 Marines and sailors at sea. A well deck provides a space to store two Landing Craft Air Cushion and the means to offload amphibious assets and cargo.

“You can put an extreme amount of stuff on this ship,” said Cpl. Cory M. Best, assistant platoon sergeant with Combat Cargo section. “We have quadcons, palcons, Amphibious Assault Vehicles, tanks, Humvees, 7-tons and a big variety of equipment. Through the flight deck and well deck we can on and off load the supplies and equipment. It’s not like we have a storage lot back at [Camp] Pendleton so we have to make every square foot count. Sometimes it surprises me how much equipment we fit in the ship.”

The Green Bay’s communication capabilities provide the MEU staff with real-time integration between ships, Geographic Combatant Commanders and coalition forces. The ship also has a video teleconference suite, additional satellite bandwidth to accommodate the needs to the 13th MEU and her subordinate elements.

“It benefits the MEU and the Geographic Combatant Commanders in a sense that back in the day, MEU’s used to have to go out in a three-ship configuration and they couldn’t leave one another because there was only one ship capable of command and control and that was the flat deck,” said Wonson. “This ship has actually revolutionized what the MEU’s are capable of because now you have two ships that have a communications, command and control suite that are similar to one another. What we’re doing with the MEU now, the MEU commander has the ability to respond to multiple things going on in theater, shoot the Boxer to take care of a possible Non-Combatant Evacuation or a HAO and Green Bay is going to go on your own and execute counter-piracy operations.”

While this ship is designed to give the 13th MEU capabilities and versatility to conduct a broad range of missions, its modern design also employs several features that benefit the Marine at the squad level.

“The L-shaped racks are great and the personal living spaces for the Marines are a lot better, which makes it a lot easier for deployment on ship,” said Sgt. Daniel Lorona, a squad leader with Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, who has deployed for a second time while serving on this type of ship. “I know having an Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer is also a plus because Marines can continue to train without necessarily firing off rounds but get more trigger time and practice the basics.”

With all the technology that comes with this ship, its crew can keep everything running efficiently and mission capable to support the missions and demands required of the 13th MEU.

“The biggest thing I have learned, or I should say, confirmed, is the unwavering dedication of my sailors to accomplish any mission we place in front of them,” said Navy Cmdr. Kevin P. Meyers, the commanding officer of the USS Green Bay. “They have worked tirelessly from the moment I took command, and I will never forget the hard work and effort they have put in to getting Green Bay safely onto her maiden deployment. This ship has significantly more command and control capability than the older LPD class ships, and we look forward to putting that to use on our deployment.”

The Marines and sailors aboard the USS Green Bay will write the opening chapter of this ship’s history as they sail on the world’s oceans in support of operations throughout the globe as a mini-MAGTF; one that can one day answer the call to respond to the will of the Geographic Combatant Commanders and the nation whose colors it bears.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011



U.S. Marines with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit perform fast rope drills out the back of a CH-46 Helicopter hanging over the USS Boxer’s flight deck elevator as a part of sustainment training March 8th. The MEU is currently at sea for a seven-month deployment as the nation’s ready-reserve force within the Pacific and Central Commands, with the Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group (BOX ARG). (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Bohanner)(Released)


U.S. Marine Corps Colonel David W. Coffman, commanding officer, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, returns a salute as he prepares to debark from the USS Green Bay Mar. 8, 2011. The Marines and Sailors with the 13th MEU will deploy for several months in support of theatre requirements of Geographic Combatant Commanders.(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Jesse D. Leger)(RELEASED)


A CH-46 Sea Knight lifts off from the USS Green Bay Mar. 8, 2011. The Marines and Sailors with the 13th MEU will deploy for several months in support of theatre requirements of Geographic Combatant Commanders.(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Jesse D. Leger)(RELEASED)


110308-M-1178B-031 A U.S. Marine from the Maritime Raid Force, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, staples a new target up after perform table 4 firing drill off the edge of the USS Boxer LHD-4 March 8, 2011, as apart of their sustainment training. The 13th MEU is currently deployed with the Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group serving as the nation's ready-reserve force within the Pacific and Central Commands. (Staff Sgt. Donald P. Bohanner)(RELEASED)

U.S. Marines from the Maritime Raid Force, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, perform table 4 firing drill off the edge of the USS Boxer LHD-4 March 8, 2011, as a part of their sustainment training. The 13th MEU is currently deployed with the Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group serving as the nation's ready-reserve force within the Pacific and Central Commands. (Staff Sgt. Donald P. Bohanner)(RELEASED

Tuesday, March 8, 2011




PACIFIC OCEAN USS BOXER (LPD-4) – Marines with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit perform fast rope drills out the back of a CH-46 Helicopter hanging over the USS Boxer’s flight deck elevator as a part of sustainment training March 8th. The MEU is currently at sea for a seven-month deployment as the nation’s ready-reserve force within the Pacific and Central Commands, as a part of the Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group (BOX ARG). (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Bohanner)(Released)


110302-M-DC338-006 Two U.S. Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, sort fruits and vegetables at the Hawaii Food Bank in Oahu, Hawaii on 2 Mar. 2011. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently deployed for a seven-month deployment as the nations ready-reserve force within the Pacific and Central commands with the Ready Group (BOX ARG).(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Jesse D. Witten)


110302-M-DC338-011 LCDR Marc Diconti, Chaplin of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), helps to sort canned foods at the Hawaii Food Bank in Oahu, Hawaii on 2 Mar. 2011. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently deployed for a seven-month deployment as the nations ready-reserve force within the Pacific and Central commands with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (BOX ARG).(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Jesse D. Witten)


110301-M-VL690-003 U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Jesse D. Witten, combat cameraman and HM1 Vidal Quintanar, medical planner with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit spend their liberty helping the homeless by wash dishes at the River for Life on March 1, 2011 in Oahu, Hawaii . The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently deployed for a seven month deployment as the nations ready reserve force in the pacific and central commands with the Boxer Amphibious Readiness Group (BOX ARG). Lance Cpl. Massimo N. Selim)(RELEASED)


110302-M-DC338-012 U.S. Marines and Sailors from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (BOX ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, pose for a group photo before they start their volunteer work at the Hawaii Food Bank in Oahu, Hawaii on 2 Mar. 2011. The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently deployed for a seven-month deployment as the nations ready-reserve force within the Pacific and Central commands with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (BOX ARG).(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Jesse D. Witten)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

USS Green Bay refuels underway













PACIFIC OCEAN ABOARD USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Marines with Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, I Marine Expeditionary Force take a moment to watch sailors serving aboard the HMCS Protecteur, a Canadian resupply ship, refuel the USS Green Bay (LPD-20) during underway replenishment, Feb. 27. Marines with Combat Cargo section and sailors stationed aboard the USS Green Bay made the refueling possible while out to sea.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)















PACIFIC OCEAN ABOARD USS GREEN BAY (LPD-20) – Marines from Combat Cargo section and sailors stationed aboard the USS Green Bay, hold a rope to keep tension between the ship and the HMCS Protecteur a Canadian resupply ship, during underway replenishment, Feb. 27. By keeping the line taunt, it prevents the refueling hose from breaking or the ships colliding.
(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher O’Quin)(Released)